A New Kind of Science

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A New Kind of Science is a book by Stephen Wolfram, published in 2002. It contains an empirical and systematic study of computational systems such as cellular automata. Wolfram calls these systems simple programs and argues that the scientific philosophy and methods appropriate for the study of simple programs are relevant to other fields of science.

Contents

Computation and its implications

The thesis of A New Kind of Science is twofold: that the nature of computation must be explored experimentally, and that the results of these experiments have great relevance to understanding the natural world. Since its crystallization in the 1930s, computation has been primarily approached from two traditions: engineering, which seeks to build practical systems using computations; and mathematics, which seeks to prove theorems about computation (albeit already in the 1970s computing as a discipline was described as being at the intersection of mathematical, engineering, and empirical/scientific traditions[1][2]).

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